I am completely, head over heels in love. From the moment I backed between the orange cones in an abandoned parking lot, the beeping of reverse serenading me, as the seductive smell of diesel fuel wafts through my open window, I am completely smitten with driving the bookmobile. I never dreamed it would be this fun!
I practiced for about an hour and then took to the open road and I’ll never be the same again. Because the BoMo has a short wheel base and an automatic transmission it is surprisingly easy to drive. Kids wave as you drive by, you feel like a rock star. The biggest challenge can be turns. Bumps in the road cause a delayed response, much like an antebellum hoop skirt rippling past it’s wire cage. You learn to brake often and make wide turns to avoid the curb. My only real fear was the reality of parking it in a garage that was designed for a much smaller vehicle. There are literally just inches of clearance on either side of the garage door that houses BoMo. There are scrape marks down the side of the bus (and the garage) to prove it. It takes three of us to park it. Yikes!
I had, up to this point, heard every horror story of parking it in said garage, before I had even taken my maiden voyage. Two brave library souls position themselves in the back of the garage and hand motion you in. Not only is the garage too narrow, but the floor slopes, so the bus tilts to one side and you have to make allowances for that as you pull in. Hey no problem!
I was so busy watching the hand movements of my brave navigators that I didn’t have time to be nervous. I magically pulled it in and regretfully shut off the engine. I could hardly wait to drive again! I am actually going to get paid for this. Yes, it is very cold and drafty in the winter, and very hot in the summer, but the joy that fills the spaces between these four fat tires is worth it. Every day is a different adventure. Just this week a four year old stepped up to me and asked (with complete innocence) if I was old. I said without hesitation, yep, much older than you. He then asked me if I was going to die soon. I pondered a moment and then said to him “I think I have a few good years left in me” and he shrugged and scampered off the bus. His teacher assured me that he has been asking every adult he sees this question. Whew. I was worried that I needed to touch up my roots sooner than later.
I have taken over numerous story times and am feeling more comfortable with singing songs with body movements and have been having a blast with a fun array of hand puppets (my inner ham is thrilled) that appear very real to my wee ones. Ahhh magical thinking. This job couldn’t be more perfect for me if I had designed it myself.
And on that note…I have decided to retire from writing this blog. My energies are needed in other areas and I really don’t have the drive to endure in the blogging world. I am not a serious writer but I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed my time here. It has been a cathartic and healing experience. I look forward to keeping up with all my favorite blog writers and humbly thank all those who encouraged, and supported my amateur efforts in sharing my thoughts. My best and fond wishes to all of you.
The blues have set in a little early this year as I dropped my daughter off at the airport shuttle. The sun is shining but it only reached 20 degrees today and more cold and snow on the way. I enjoyed it more when my kids were here together. I’m sure they are happily on to the next thing in their young lives and glad they are no longer under a parents thumb. Like that ever happened.
The minute you bring home a baby, the letting go starts with each hurdle and “first” they try. It’s practice for the endless swinging door that becomes your heart. They don’t really explain that well in the birthing classes. You stand at their door, gently pushing while whispering “bring it on life”. It becomes a shout by the time they are teens. Then poof, it’s all done and they are swimming up stream. Thankfully, they still come home to feed and show off their spawn.
It’s not like parents don’t have a life, it’s just a feeling of whimsy. Fleeting and dear. A little respite of remembering, what it used to be like. It’s the magic and mystery of being a kid again. We all want to go back there at times, and as I watch my children mature it gets more and more elusive. No wonder we start whining about grandchildren! We want that fountain of youth.
I like Bridget Jones Diary because it always cheers me up and makes me laugh (and I get palpitations and hot flashes when gazing upon yummy Colin Firth) that someone else thinks the way I do…some times. Life goes on, and on. Might as well make the best of it and have fun. But just in case…I went and got a bag of books at the library. Just in case. An instant party with my friends.
I arrived in Fort Collins on Tuesday to blistering heat with lots of baggage. Not the emotional kind but the kind with zippers and tape. I feel a surprising freedom which is odd being in the situation I’m in but it feels like I’m on the right path. My son was a bit stressed on the flight here and I asked him how he was doing. He said in the deadpan way only he can…”It’s a lot less stressful traveling alone”. Gotta love that. We are sharing his tiny apartment inside an old house on college row and dealing with huge role reversals that every parent must face when their children become adults with their own lives. It’s kinda fun asking him… So “what’s for dinner”? I get a blank look.
The heat has been an adjustment. No air-conditioning! I was willing to be a good sport (with generous amounts of complaining) until we found out they were taping plastic over all the windows to paint the exterior. I said “uncle” and stayed with a friend last night after a sweltering night on the couch. I can’t imagine how the firefighters must be enduring this.
Last weekend at Lincoln Beach seems like a distant fantasy. On our way there we stopped at Spirit Mountain Casino to use the bathroom and I won ten dollars on a slot machine with a dollar investment! It was beautiful and sunny both days we stayed, which is a miracle. We walked on the beach, watched the seals that live on the strip of land across the inlet from our condo, ate seafood and I enjoyed the company of two very special young people. We humoroulsy watched my son spend hours trying to start a fire in the fireplace and eventually give up. Who needs a fire anyway?
It was great seeing my son reconnect with his cousin. My niece did all the driving thankfully. It was raining when we checked out but it lifted by the time we got to dowtown Portland. We rode the light rail, meandered through Powell’s Bookstore and revived with Voodoo Donuts and coffee.
A very nice end to a great weekend. We drug ourselves home tired but happy and packed up to fly out the next morning. It was emotional saying goodbye to my niece and friends and cool rainy Portland.
I was bitterly disappointed in “The Exotic Marigold Hotel” and found it very depressing. Maybe the movie is better? It had great potential as a story but fell short for me. I picked up a $2 copy of “Smoke Screen” by Sandra Brown in Lincoln Beach at a funky art shop and really liked it. She does great thriller mysteries. I’m hoping to start back on my reading list. The library is a couple blocks away and I need the routine of reading again. It calms me. I’ll be back on track with my blog too. Thanks for sticking with me!